Dear Members and Friends of Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd,
As Jesus the Christ was on the road to the cross, he told a crowd, “The time has come for the Human One (or the Son of Man) to be glorified. I assure you that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it can only be a single seed. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their lives will lose them, and those who hate their lives in this world will keep them forever. Whoever serves me must follow me. Wherever I am, there my servant will also be. My Father will honor whoever serves me.” (John 12:23-26)
On the cross, Jesus gave himself for us and for all, bearing God’s love all the way to death at the hands of the powers of this world. Like a grain of wheat planted in the ground, Jesus’ body was buried in the tomb. As a seed bursts with new life, shooting out of the ground a verdant living plant, so Jesus was raised from the tomb to resurrection life, the first fruits of God’s kingdom, God’s reign of justice and love and life, the new heaven and new earth promised and anticipated in our lives as followers of Christ.
When Jesus died on the cross, he was a virtually unknown rabbi, crucified by the Romans as a traitor. But when God raised Jesus to resurrection life, God affirmed that Jesus’ nonviolent way of love is God’s way of saving the world, that Jesus, in his life and death and resurrection, is the word of God made flesh for us and for all creation.
This is why we celebrate during the season of Easter – and all year long. On the first Sunday after Easter, we will welcome new members to join us in God’s mission of Living and Sharing Jesus, the Resurrected One, God with us and for us all the way to the cross and beyond. God bless you this Easter season!
Living and Sharing Jesus in 2015,
Pastor Eric Lemonholm